On Friday, the United States President Joe Biden announced to nominate Rahm Emanuel as ambassador to Japan. Additionally, he announced Nicholas Burns as a special envoy to China. The White House announced the two top ambassador positions at a time of so far the biggest foreign policy crisis of the administration – the United States pullout from Afghanistan amid Taliban seized of Kabul.
Talk about a Friday afternoon ambassador dump, but it’s now official: Rahm Emanuel to be nominated as ambassador to Japan; Nicholas Burns as ambassador to China — two selections long in the works, but announced by White House in the midst of their biggest foreign policy crisis.
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) August 20, 2021
Emanuel is a member of Congress representing Illinois, a senior advisor for former President Bill Clinton, chief of staff of President Barack Obama, and a former mayor of Chicago. The name of Emanuel was under discussion for several positions within the Biden government, including transportation secretary. However, his long track record in the politics of the Democratic Party is possibly be dominated by many controversies during his job as Chicago mayor when he finally faces during his confirmation hearing.
Furthermore, the crime rate of Chicago and the police shooting of American-African teenager Laquan McDonald – a key reason he didn’t seek a 3rd term as mayor of the city – are interrogations he could face during the confirmation of the Senate. Whereas Emanuel apologized in 2015 for the circumstances surrounding McDonald’s death, including the fact it took thirteen months before police dashboard camera video became public and the court charged the officer who killed him.
Challenges for Biden Administration in Beijing
Emanuel denied calls for him to resign and rejected his involvement in the delay to release the video. Furthermore, the Biden government faced several challenges when it comes to Beijing, including the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, human rights abuses, the country’s influence efforts abroad, and its military role.
Previously, officials specified that the government intended to fill the role of the administration with somebody who has widespread diplomatic experience and selection signals of Nicholas Burns where the priorities of the United States lie with China. Burns formally served as Unser Secretary for State for Political Affairs, a former member of the Foreign Service, U.S. Ambassador to Greece and NATO, and spokesperson of State Department.
At present, Burns serves in roles at the Aspen Strategy Group (ASG), the Cohen Group, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and the Security Forum. On Friday, the White House announced the name of Michael Battle for the position to serve as ambassador to Tanzania. Additionally, the services of Battle covered diplomacy to theology in academia to the U.S. military. He was mainly the American representative to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
The latest envoys from the president moved more slowly than approximately all recent U.S. presidents in selecting his ambassadors, all of whom face confirmation from the Senate. Biden went over two months into his presidency without nominating a single ambassadorial to send foreign.
However, during the last month, his nominations included ambassadorial nominations to Singapore, Switzerland, Mozambique, Spain, Equatorial Guinea, Argentina, and the Central African Republic, among other ambassador-rank positions. Although president Biden made nominations, the United States doesn’t have any confirmed envoys installed in key nations such as China, Israel, India, France, and Canada.